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Somewhat OT: Inkjet printer leaks.....

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  • Somewhat OT: Inkjet printer leaks.....

    Learned something new the last month or so. How many of you know that inkjet printers clean their own print heads? OK, how many of you know how that's done? OK, how many know where the cleaned off ink goes???

    I found out the hard way. Needed/wanted a new printer that was faster, compatible with the new wireless interfaces, and would print 11x17. No problem! Did a lot of looking, etc. and brought one home.

    Pulled the cables off the old one (HP Office Jet G85 about 14 years old) lifted it off its stand and..... black ink dribbles out of the bottom. There was a flattened corrugated box on the floor just handy (!!) and got it onto that. But not before a couple of teaspoons of ink got all over the carpet, the stand and my pants.

    We'd pulled the cartridges out the day before and saw no sign of loose ink.

    So today after letting the darn thing dry out (I thought) a couple of weeks, I cleared the bench and carried it out, box and all.

    I figured at worst I would trash it and at best clean it out and give it to someone who needed one. It was working perfectly.

    So I started taking it apart. The more I dug in the more ink I saw and soon it became obvious the whole bottom of the printer was ink either wet or dried on. Where did it come from???

    When the thing cleans the heads it seems to deposit the cleanings in a receptacle. This 'tank' has a felt pad, a rotor thing, a moving tray gizzie all driven by a little motor. The tank was filled with paste ink. Like ink that had partly dried. About two tablespoons of it. Like black grease.

    The machine was working fine but after I moved it I could see it had leaked all over the top of the stand.

    There is nothing in the owners manual about this. Not a word about having it 'serviced' at some interval. The new printer, a Brother, does say to have the unit serviced at some interval.

    So I kinda feel like HP owes me a carpet in the office right now. There's no way that will happen but that's what I feel like.

    So check your printer and owners manual. You don't want a surprise like I had!!

    This HP is going to be 'salvaged' and the junk 'recycled'.

    1973 SB 10K .
    BenchMaster mill.

  • #2
    Why I haven't used a jet printer in many years. Most of the insanely expensive ink goes into the cleaning pads unless you use it constantly. I once geeked out on photo printers and was loading my own carts with archival pigments (not ink). Wised up, got lasers, and outsourced the photo printing to Costco for literally pennies. Even a 20x16 is like $9.
    Location: Jersey City NJ USA


    • #3
      I read printer ink is in the top 5 most expensive liquids on earth, not as expensive as scorpion venom 39 million a gallon, but from the manufacturers point of view any you waste is profit for them, excessive preening by printers is costly, plus leaving a load in the not empty cartridge helps with profits, I've seen a few dripping ink out in the past, the HP one I had was the worst, won't buy one of them again.


      • #4
        There have been conspiracy theories about this for years but with the ever smaller ink channels they will clog if not used regularly. They indeed spray ink on the side on a pad, the last one I opened even had a peristaltic pump to move it to a much larger pad. Normally the printer stops functioning after a few years with the error message "reservoir full" or something to that effect but 99% of the customers will have thrown it out before that time. Yours apparently failed to generate that error for some reason.
        So in general the better the print head (higher resolution) the more ink is needed to keep the channels open. Of course the manufacturer can tweak this balance for maximum profit but this coincides with maximum print quality as well.
        I've had to throw out half full cartridges with blocked channels which wouldn't even respond to deep cleaning cycles and that is even more annoying....


        • #5
          I poked one print head into an ultrasonic bath (in a beaker of vidio jet carrier solution, looked meths like)
          It started working again.